Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volare

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The Volaré and its Dodge sibling, the Aspen, were perfectly competent cars for their time, (anectodally) more reliable than the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick (and, later, the Fairmont) competition and, if you looked at them from the right angle, better looking. Still, they were never quite as beloved as the Dart/Valiant A-bodies that they replaced, and they have not aged well. In fact, most of them got crushed during the 1990s, so it’s not often that I see examples like this one in self-service wrecking yards.

Of course, the Volaré and its Detroit rivals were taking a beating during the gloom of the Malaise Era, with ever-rising fuel prices and the swelling market share of the Japanese automakers. Not long after this car was built, Chrysler had to seek out loan guarantees from the federal government.

We all know about Ricardo Montalban’s ads for the Cordoba, but we mustn’t forget that Sergio Franchi‘s ads for the Volaré were nearly as suave. This car had a “special” suspension!

This sporty coupe came with bucket seats, tape stripes, and two-tone paint.

And, for practicality’s sake, the extraordinarily reliable Slant Six.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Johnvolare77 Johnvolare77 on Mar 30, 2013

    Wanna see? Dbags I'm an angry puppy

  • -Nate -Nate on Mar 31, 2013

    John ; No need for anger , some folks just don't get it ~ MoPar 'B'Bodies are light and agile , the slant 6 engine , even the wretched 170 CI one , is an engineering marvel now as it was in 1963 . Yes , I'm a Bowtie Guy (Chevy fanboi) but that doesn't take anything away from those wonderful old'B' series drivers . -Nate ('64 Barracuda lover)

    • See 3 previous
    • -Nate -Nate on Apr 01, 2013

      @Moparman426W A. You're preaching to The Choir here . B. I , personally , never , _EVER_ over rev. engines ~ not even borrowed ones , that'd be my Son , maybe some day the TTAC'ers who know him will share some stories , he's a seriously fast racer . When he was a Track Instructor @ Willow Springs , the yuppie Porsche dickwads hsated seeing his old VW Beetle race car 'cause all they ever saw was the taillights receding rapidly . -Nate

  • Slavuta Why America needs school buses altogether? When I was in school, I rode on a regular city bus
  • Jeff Buy whatever works for you if you own an EV and are happy with it good, if you buy a hybrid or plug in hybrid and it works for you good, if neither and you like your ICE the way it is that is also good. I believe over time EVs will get better and have a larger segment of the market.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Is New Jersey better than Old Jersey?
  • Tassos Jong-iL Looking forward to buying 2 of these with all of those Rubles we have been earning lately.
  • Dartdude I have a 17 Ram 1500, love the dial and took to it right a way. don't have a lever blocking the dash panel or taking up space on the console.